RFR, Ragan 2009 sponsor announcement interview

Roush Fenway Racing and UPS announced today that David Ragan will be behind the wheel of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion in 2009. The official press conference was held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway infield media center. RON ROGOWSKI,...

Roush Fenway Racing and UPS announced today that David Ragan will be behind the wheel of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion in 2009. The official press conference was held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway infield media center.

RON ROGOWSKI, Director of Sponsorship, UPS

"As we entered into NASCAR almost 10 years ago as the official delivery company of NASCAR, we evolved and a couple of years later we entered into an agreement with one of the icons of the sport in Dale Jarrett and our team sponsorship. The last eight years were a great run with Dale and Dale became such a big part of UPS and our customers and our employees really endeared Dale. So when Dale announced his retirement, it gave us an opportunity as an organization to really sit down and take a look at our whole program and over the last several months we've done that very detailed overall review. And I'm very happy to be here today and announce on behalf of over 425,000 employees around the globe and our customers, our new partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, David Ragan and the No. 6 Ford Fusion for the 2009 season. We are absolutely ecstatic to be able to be part of the team with Jack and David and we look forward to next year and being in Victory Lane. Our people and our customers have always been very competitive and we think David epitomizes and comes right in and can help us replace Dale, if that's even possible given Dale's iconic position within the sport, but we could build a program around our speed, the agility. We took a hard look at David's performance over the last couple of years in his career before even entering into Cup."

DAVID RAGAN -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion

"I'm thrilled and excited to be here this morning. Just the atmosphere walking in, I can tell all of you guys are pretty thrilled. I don't know if it's the coffee and the doughnuts you've had this morning, but I can tell the atmosphere in here is pretty exciting. To be talking about the 2009 racing season already, combining great groups of people like the UPS family and the 425,000-plus employees that they have, the Fenway Sports Group, Roush Fenway Racing, I think that's a pretty good combination to talk about going into the 2009 season and beyond. We've still got 10 races to go this year. We need to find Victory Lane and get our team into championship form, and I think we've got a pretty good schedule to do that. We've had a solid season. This has been a big week for us, barely missing the chase at Richmond was certainly a disappointment, but I think that gives us a little more drive starting here this weekend at New Hampshire to put our best foot forward. And when the checkered flag falls at Homestead, we're gonna have a successful year, we're gonna be 13th in points and everybody is gonna be talking about us and the new UPS Ford Fusion team. We're definitely real excited. Jimmy and our whole group of guys, just to be talking about it already -- looking forward to it. It's gonna be a great off-season. We're gonna have a lot of good things happen and we're gonna unload in Daytona and we're gonna be fast. It's gonna be a fun year next year and for many years to come. I don't have a whole lot to say. Growing up and being a fan of the UPS Ford driven by Dale Jarrett, it's always been a dream to work with great companies like that and I feel like we're in a good stage in my career to hit a home run, combining the Roush Fenway team, UPS, and David Ragan and the No. 6. I think it's a winning combination and I think we're gonna deliver big next year and for many years to come."

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion

"Thanks to all the folks here from UPS that have been participating in this competition as it was and to Geoff Smith and our group for going and putting this program together. As we realized that UPS was out there and was going to make an arrangement with another team and we engaged in conversation, it was a great coup for us to be able to put the program together. David has got a great future. We look forward to a lot of success with him. It's really been a lot of satisfaction for me to follow David through the competition that he entered in a couple of years ago to be in the seat that he's in today. It involved more than 1700 folks that wanted to drive these race cars and David has outlasted some of his peers as much as we've outlasted some of ours in this arrangement now that we've got with UPS. UPS is a great company. It's a marquee sponsor in this sport. It's one of the most widely known brands in households all over the world and to have them as part of the Roush partnership is really a great thing for us. David is just 22 years old and he's got all of his wins in front of him. Jimmy Fennig told me as we started the year that he was gonna put David in the chase and as it looked like we weren't going to make it at the end of the race at Richmond, Jimmy says, 'Well, maybe we'll be 13th,' as David said he was going to be able to do. The No. 6 car was, of course, our first and at that time it was a Winston Cup car in 1988 when we started. It's really near and dear to my heart and the No. 6 car is going to have very favorable position in the Roush Fenway organization for years to come, and I certainly hope that UPS can be there with us for the long haul and celebrate a lot of victories and championships. I expect that. I can't wait to get to Daytona to get started and to get our wins coming and to hopefully be a factor in the championship next year, which we missed by a little bit this year, but that would be great for UPS to be back in there with us. Jimmy Fennig is a marquee crew chief that doesn't have a speaking part today. Jimmy, like myself, would rather stay behind the scenes. We're really excited for the No. 6 car. We're excited for all of Roush Fenway and couldn't be more pleased or proud to be able to carry the UPS colors going forward."

Q&A SESSION

UPS HAS A REPUTATION FOR FUNNY COMMERCIALS. ARE YOU MORE CONCERNED ABOUT BEING FUNNY ON TV OR WINNING RACES?

DAVID RAGAN: "I think being funny on camera is something that we can all have fun with and these guys do an outstanding job. I'm as big a race fan as any of you guys in this room this morning and to be a fan of the advertisement and the things that they have been doing in the past when I was growing up and then also being part of the sport, it's gonna be fun. I'm sure they've got some great stuff up their sleeve. I'm excited to see what they're gonna be putting forward and I'm sure it's gonna be good and you guys are gonna enjoy it when we get ready to start rolling on some great commercials over the off-season."

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DAVID'S GROWTH AS A DRIVER?

JIMMY FENNIG, Crew Chief -- No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion: "Looking at last year it was David's rookie year and we had some good times and some bad times. We had more bad times but that was understandable. This year, I thought we had a pretty good year. I'm really looking forward to next year because of what we learned this year and with this being David's second time on some of these race tracks, I'm really excited about next year because I see the growth, I see the maturity. And, like I said, at the beginning of this year, I told Jack we'd make the chase. Next year, we will be in the chase."

WAS IT IMPORTANT TO GO WITH A YOUNG DRIVER YOU CAN GROW WITH AS OPPOSED TO A VETERAN?

RON ROGOWSKI: "I wouldn't say that was the main part of it. I would say there were several different things we looked at through this process, and, as I mentioned earlier, it was an opportunity to re-evaluate the whole program. But as I mentioned in my opening comments, with somebody like Dale, who is so endeared by our customers and our employees, those are some pretty big shoes to fill and it was such a successful relationship and we have so much admiration for Dale it really became how do you do that and how do you manage it forward? How do you become part of a winning team? How do you start to get to Victory Lane? And what are our expectations for our program? So I think it was many different things that went into it."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , David Ragan
Teams Roush Fenway Racing